Rock Alive - June 1985
You've heard his voice before. It is a voice that was among the most loved of a generation, a voice that we'd feared we'd never hear again when John Lennon died. Happily, his voice, and to a certain extent, his face live on in his 21-year-old son, Julian. It is no surprise that Julian gravitated towards a musical career; the challenge he will have to face is being accepted on his own merits and not constantly being compared to his dad. Al- ready, too many writers have indulged in such comparisons and haven't taken enough of a look at Julian himself, his life and the circumstances that led to a music career. besides his dad!
Julian first began to make music when he was going to Kingsmead, Hoylake school. He made a friend, Justin Clayton, who also enjoyed early rock and roll songs like "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Rock Around The Clock" and they formed a band together. Julian took up guitar at this time.
Julian and Justin had to break up their group when Julian and his mom Cynthia moved to Ruthin, North Wales. But by the time Julian turned 17, he and Justin were again making music together. The death of Julian's dad broke up the band for a while, as Julian spent time in Manhattan.
When Julian returned to the U.K., he settled in London and worked on his music. He spent time practicing and writing on the piano. Most important, he examined his motives for wanting to enter the music business and decided that even though he would constantly be compared to his dad, he loved music too much not to build a life around it!
Julian wrote material for his first album, Valotte, in a French chateau bearing that name! Justin Clayton once again was part of the action, as well as Jamaican-born guitarist Carlton Morales. The album then was recorded in New York City and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. Julian was especially happy to work with Phil Ramone; he'd wanted to work with the talented producer since he'd heard Billy Joel's The Nylon Curtain album. Phil was pleased to work with Julian as well: you can see him behind the mixing board in the "Valotte", video.
When he's not working on his music, Julian loves to ride motorcycles! His full name is John Charles, Julian Lennon, and his birthday is April 8. Right now he is very excited about his career and the success he's found, both in America and in England, where "Too Late For Goodbyes" was a successful single. In person, Julian is reportedly shy and very likable.
"I want to keep the name (Lennon) going," Julian has said, "but in my way. No one can top what my dad did, especially me, but I want to keep the Lennon name singing and writing and playing." This he is, with dignity and style.
© 1985 Rock Alive
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek